Saturday, October 13, 2012

Riding An American Roller Coaster in Ukraine!

Last week, my boyfriend Stas and I went back to Gorky park in downtown Kharkiv to check out the rides. We were there on opening day, standing in the rain along with thousands of other people because all the rides were free that day. We finally got to ride the American-style roller coaster! It cost 35 UAH (~$4.30) to go on the little roller coaster for about a minute. All the Ukrainians screamed their heads off and I proudly rode the whole ride with my arms up in the air... I guess they're not used to extreme roller coasters at Six Flags :D

By the roller coaster!
Ready to ride. 
But now that the free rides are over (and the weather is colder), hardly anyone was at the park. This was both good and bad - good because you didn't have to wait in line at all for the rides, bad because there is a 4 person minimum for the operators to run the ride. Since there was only 2 of us, we couldn't ride some of the rides which we wanted to, and had to settle for the more popular ones that the random other people in the park also wanted to ride. The park has some classic amusement park rides like a little log ride, rotating swings, bumper boats, and stuff like twirly crazy rides that twirl your seats around horizontally while also twirling the whole ride vertically.
I got cotton candy though, so it still felt like a real amusement park : )
We also rode the Ferris wheel. I thought it was going to be like an American-style Ferris wheel, where everyone gets in, then they spin it fast a few times and let everyone stop at the top. I was wrong though, we just went around once... one super slow loop. When we got to the top, I was actually scared a little bit - not because I'm afraid of heights, but because the wind was whistling loudly through the cracks in the plexiglass and I was afraid that we might tip over. But everything was okay, Stas assured me that the Ferris wheel is supposed to be structurally sound because it was designed/built by an Italian guy (as opposed to a Ukrainian).

Inside the little carriage. 
A view of the park from the top.
Overlooking the city!
Gorky park was much better the second time around, and I actually really enjoyed how empty it was... no crazy crowds of screaming kids or people pushing and shoving to get to the front of the "line". If the weather is nice and you have about an hour or two to hang out, you should check out Gorky park! Most of the rides are 25 or 35 UAH, or you can buy a day pass.

This was actually the best part of my day... finding a giant orange! These giant orange stands sell smoothies and ice cream in the summer. 


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